Deuteronomy 17 … Consider What is Detestable to Him

Originally posted: 07/31/2019

“…for that is a detestable thing to the Lord your God,” (17:1).

Ouch! Detestable…

I really would rather dwell on the positive. I love spending my time considering His grace, forgiveness, mercy, blessings, lovingkindness… I think we all do. It’s safe to say that most of us would rather be absorbed in the emotions that are conjured up when thinking about His goodness and kindness rather than dwelling on what He finds Detestable.

But when in a relationship with Holy God it is a definite positive to know, not only what pleases Him, but also What is Detestable to Him.

My husband knows I’m not a big fan of camping. I don’t actually detest it; I just don’t love it. But if my husband planned a “romantic getaway” for the two of us and drove me to a plat of dirt with a small fire ring, I would not necessarily feel loved. But imagine if I truly detested camping and he insisted we spend every weekend in a tent. Love would certainly not be the behavior conveyed.

God has called us into love relationship with Him, and out of His abounding love, grace and mercy, He has clearly delineated in His Word What is Detestable to Him. It is His gift to us; in expressing What is Detestable to Him, He provides clarity how we can demonstrate our love back to Him.

Consider What is Detestable to Him

Deuteronomy 17 relates three crucial areas as Detestable to Him.

  • The Unacceptable Sacrifice is Detestable to Him.
    • “You shall not sacrifice to the Lord your God an ox or a sheep which has a blemish or any defect, for that is a detestable thing to the Lord your God,” (17:1).
  • Idolatry is Detestable to Him.
    • “If there is found in your midst…a man or a woman who does what is evil in the sight of the Lord your God, by transgressing His covenant, and has gone and served other gods and worshiped them, or the sun or the moon or any of the heavenly host, which I have not commanded… Behold, if it is true and the thing certain that this detestable thing has been done in Israel,” (17:2-4).
  • Presumptuous Pride is Detestable to Him.
    • “The man who acts presumptuously by not listening to the priest who stands there to serve the Lord your God, nor to the judge…” (17:12).

How do we respond to What is Detestable to Him?

When we love Him, it makes sense we would also love what He loves as well as detest what is Detestable to Him. And again, out of His abounding love, grace and mercy, He has clearly delineated all we need in His Word.

  • There is Only One Acceptable Sacrifice.
    • “…let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead…11 He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief corner stone.12 And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved,” (Acts 4:10-12)
    • Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; 12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God… 14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified, (Hebrews 10:11-12,14).
  • Are we truly loving Him by trusting in His One and Only Acceptable Sacrifice, Jesus Christ?
    • Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me, (John 14:6).
  • There is Only One Who is Worthy of our Worship.
    • Let all those be ashamed who serve graven images,
      Who boast themselves of idols;
      Worship Him, all you gods, (Psalm 97:7).
    • For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father, (Philippians 2:9-11).
  • Are we truly loving Him as we bow our hearts and lives before Jesus Christ, the One Who is Worthy of our Worship?
    • “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing,” (Revelation 5:12).
  • There is Only One Remedy for Pride.
    • He has told you, O man, what is good;
      And what does the Lord require of you
      But to do justice, to love kindness,
      And to walk humbly with your God?
      (Micah 6:8).
    • Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, (Matthew 5:3).
    • …for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humbleTherefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, (1 Peter 5:5-6).
  • Are we truly loving Him in humility as we depend on His truth and grace bestowed through Jesus Christ?
    • For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ, (John 1:17).

Purging What is Detestable to Him is both required and beneficial.

“So you shall purge the evil from your midst…that man shall die; thus you shall purge the evil from Israel. 13 Then all the people will hear and be afraid, and will not act presumptuously again,” (17:7,12-13).

If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell, (Matthew 5:29-30).

Let us offer thanks to God for the clarity of His Word as we strive to demonstrate our love for Him. Let us daily seek Him in His Word to grow in our desire to please Him and develop His holy mindset towards evil.

Hate evil, you who love the Lord,
Who preserves the souls of His godly ones…
(Psalm 97:12)

From Your precepts I get understanding;
Therefore I hate every false way,
(Psalm 119:104).

The fear of the Lord is to hate evil;
Pride and arrogance and the evil way
And the perverted mouth, I hate, (Proverbs 8:13).

Do our affections and allegiances demonstrate our love for Him or are we merely “acting” the part, playing the hypocrite? We may be able to fool others, but the LORD sees and examines our hearts.

But You know me, O Lord;
You see me;
And You examine my heart’s attitude toward You,
(Jeremiah 12:3).

Today, as we consider What is Detestable to Him, let us carefully and purposely examine our lives. Is there hypocrisy? Let us confess and repent, and trust Him to draw our hearts in true love, that we may daily purge What is Detestable to Him from our midst.

If you love Me, you will keep My commandments,(John 14:15).

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good, (Romans 12:9).

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, (1 John 1:9).

Let’s Grow Together!

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